Tiny Toy Co. wants your unwanted toy pieces

Toronto-based upcycle program turns toy destined for the trash into awesome educational tools
tiny toy blocks Where are you going to put all of these? We know of a place ... (© Empire331 - Dreamstime.com)

These days, recycling bins and programs are everywhere. But it wasn't all that long ago when these things were quite rare. As humans, we're still learning a lot about how to turn our so-called junk into things that we can use. And as the threats of waste—especially plastics—become more clear, the need for new ideas is clear.

One huge source of trash is old plastic toys. You know the stuff that we're talking about.


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Loose board game pieces. Random blocks. Discarded dolls. Piles of pretend swords, masks, and outgrown suits from the dress-up box.

Some of this stuff makes it to younger cousins, daycares, or local second-hand shops. But then there are the things that just seem too damaged or cast-off to be of use to anyone. Who wants to play with a broken action figure arm, a single penguin soldier, and a bunch of marker caps?

Tiny Toy Co. That's who!

On a mission

To be clear, this Toronto-based company isn't necessarily looking to play with them. Rebecca Saha is a teacher and librarian from Toronto. She started Tiny Toy Co. as an upcycling program for old toys, turning them into educational tools.


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In her 18 years of teaching experience, she's developed a way to turn these random toys into learning games to teach math, word sounds, the alphabet, and more. Old marker lids can be used to teach multiplication tables and lessons about colour, for example. And by using the actual names of toy items like brushes and trucks, she can use them to talk about the sounds letters make and how they combine to form words.

And, with five collection locations already around Toronto, it means that less of this stuff is going to landfill.

Less waste, more learning

The fact that Saha is combining an educational program with an environmental one means that a lot of people are excited about Tiny Toy Co.

"Everything I'm creating for kids is not only educational but upcycled," Saha told CBC recently.


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She is still in the process of collecting items and further designing her programs, but she hopes to have everything up and running by March. People will not only be able to sign up for several different learning classes that Saha will run, she will also be selling custom-curated activity sets. Each set will be made from old toys that she has collected and turned into themed learning games.

So now you don't have to throw out that checkers set that you lost three pieces from—it's a perfect fit for Tiny Toy Co. Awesome!

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  1. How can we sent unwanted LEGO to this program? By mail? Is there free shipping?
    Are there any collection places besides Toronto? Anything in or near TRENTON / BELLEVILLE?

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